Dr. Myles Bokinac

Dry Eye Syndrome is a common problem for many patients. It is defined as lack of tears on the front surface of the eye. This may be due to lack of production of tears, excessive evaporation of the tears or a tear imbalance. Normal tears are made up of 3 components: oil, water and mucus. Each of these are produced by different glands on the eye or eyelids and all serve different functions. Symptoms of dry eye may include: burning, scratchy feeling, redness, watering, or tired eyes.

Dry eyes become more common as we age and women are more commonly affected. Computer use and many medications also tend to further aggravate dry eye. Our Saskatchewan climate also tends to be very dry and this worsens the problem as well. Dry eye may range in severity from mild to severe and treatment of this condition will depend on the severity.

Treatments for dry eyes may include: artificial tear drops, warm compresses to stimulate tear production, eyelid hygiene to reduce inflammation, nutritional supplementation with omega-3’s, punctal plugs to help retain the tears that are produced, or even prescription medications such as Alrex or Restasis. Since dry eye is a chronic disorder it requires ongoing treatment to ensure success. Launched in October 2010, Restasis is the newest dry eye therapy available in Canada.

It has been used in the U.S. for several years and has been very successful in treating moderate to severe dry eye This is a prescription eyedrop which studies have shown increases tear production. If you suffer from moderate to severe dry eye and are still experiencing symptoms with your current therapy, ask your optometrist if Restasis may be a good option for you.